There are those who talk about the benefits of a minority government. Usually you don’t see the benefits as one of the problems is that they aren’t around that long.
Just look at poor Joe Clark who lasted nine months less a day as Canada’s Prime Minister. Clark’s Finance Minister John Crosbie described it, ‚”Long enough to conceive, just not long enough to deliver.”
It was the opposite case recently when opposition parties came together to give the House of Commons’ approval to the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Not only was the declaration passed but it mandates the government to implement the rights contained within the UN declaration.
Some of you will remember that Canada was one of the four countries to naysay the declaration despite promoting it before the change in government. The declaration had already taken more time than any other UN declaration to write and be accepted.
The contents had been watered down time and time again to make it acceptable to such countries as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This was mainly due to Canada telling Indigenous Peoples around the world this was the best they could expect according to some organizations.
Then Canada turned around with Stephen Harper becoming our Prime Minister and said ”No!” Many Aboriginal Peoples felt betrayed. With some African countries saying Canada was tying aid to a vote against the declaration it was seen as a black eye for Canada’s world reputation.
But then things are always surprising when you have a minority government. A NDP Member of Parliament spearheaded a bill to recognize and adopt the UN declaration and to implement it. It passed with all opposition parties endorsing the bill.
This shows the benefit of a minority government in its responsiveness to the views of all parties. It also shows that a minority government is more accountable to the desires of all Canadians, not just those who voted for them.
Of course the government is fighting implementing the bill using all the arguments they have used before. Meanwhile the lawyers working for First Nations in Canada are enjoying the possibilities. Land claims, treaties, agreements and recognition will be changed by this bill coming into force. That is why it is being delayed at the moment.
While all this is quite surprising and welcome to First Nations there is another twist.
Where is the news that this historic event happened? Look at any major news media outlet and ask where is the coverage? It is nowhere to be found and this should be very disturbing to any Canadian.
It shows without many doubts that the content of most major news sources is determined by political right-winged owners with their own agendas. This is a huge story that has the potential to have major impacts within Canadian society yet the mainstream news media ignored it and its implications for all Canadians.
This is more than a story falling by the wayside but one that shows the dangers of major sources of Canadian media owned by a few. If you remember the movie 1984, it addressed the dangers of state control of the media. It appears we are not to far from fiction becoming reality.